Proving that weird things always happen in MMA, UFC and M-1 Global announced a joint partnership and company.
Earlier today, the UFC and M-1 Global announced the foundation of UFC Russia. According to an announcement courtesy of M-1 Global, the new company will promote MMA and put on shows in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). M-1 will apparently scout fighters and sign them to fight in the promotion. In a partnership similar to Shamrock FC and Bellator MMA, M-1 Challenge champions will have an opportunity to sign with the UFC.
M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelstein said of the partnership: “We are looking forward to further cooperation with the UFC and the Russian-Chinese investment fund working on developing young Russian talents and this will benefit our sports very much. MMA is a very popular kind of sports and cooperation of the UFC, investment fund and M-1 Global can take MMA in Russia to a new level. Competition in M-1 Global is going to be even tougher and that means we are going to see even more excellent and spectacular fights!”
This is just another step of the US-based promotion going further into Russia. With the first show being later this year in Moscow in September, it seems the promotion has a full intention of getting into the country and making a big impact, and having a deal with one of the bigger MMA promotions in M-1 is just helping.
M-1 Global has provided solid talent for the UFC in the past, including their last three heavyweight champions in Alexander Volkov, Marcin Tybura, and Damian Grabowski. A pair of other notable alumni is Khabib Nurmagomedov and Mairbek Taisumov. Now that the Russian organization is officially a pipeline to the Octagon, keep an eye out for talent of that caliber coming overseas in the future.